How to Appraise Your Own Car

There are many reasons why you would need to appraise your car. A few reasons apply, such as, selling, trading your car in, or if you just want to know how much your car is worth.

Appraising your own car can be difficult. The main reason is being realistic on the price. There are many opinions out there, and that is what an appraisal is, an opinion. Since there are so many opinions it is best to get as many as possible. This will help you decide the right price.


Items that go into an appraisal

Style/Trim Levels and Options

This is where you list the features of the car. It is easy to over value or under value your car at this stage. To get an accurate appraisal be honest and make sure you are reasonable. This can also be the fun part too! Listing the features of heated seats and getting to know your car a little bit better. A few examples include:

-Cars transmission

-Engine type

-All wheel drive

-Leather seats



-Automatic climate control

-Heated seats

Don’t forget to list the trim levels/style. The style/ trim level helps you make your car more specific to get an accurate appraisal. These are EX, LTZ, Touring, Grand Touring, etc.

Condition levels

There are different levels to rate your car. Make sure you are being objective. Do not be too emotional about your car. This is the hard part! You have to rate your car from Outstanding to Rough. Make sure you are being honest to get an accurate appraisal.







You will be given three or four different prices. The prices include; trade-in, private party, dealer retail, and certified used.

If you are expecting to trade-in your vehicle then this would give you a ball park range of how much you would get. This is typically a lower price.

Next, we have the private party price. This is what you would expect if you were to sell your car on your own. The pricing for this is one of the highest because it takes more work to sell a car on your own.

Then we have the dealer retail price. This price is mainly for used-car shoppers, and will be average price, rated between the other prices.

Finally, the certified used price is the price of a car if it is fairly new. This is also for used car shoppers, it shows what the amount would be if sold as a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle.

By understanding the price of your car you will be able to confidently walk onto the lot or deal. Below are places online you can appraise your car. If you want an in person appraisal then come to Louisiana Approval. We would love to help.

Online places to get appraised

Kelly blue book




Hopefully, now  you feel like a pro and can appraise your own car! If you need any help with your appraisal, Louisiana Approval is willing help you with your appraisal needs. Just reach out to us here and set up your appointment today.

Why Financial Terms are Important

Why are financial terms important? Have you ever signed a contract and did not read the contract fully before you signed it? Here is another scenario, have you ever read over a financial contract and did not know what the words meant?

Financial terms can be confusing, especially if you do not know what the words mean. Financial lingo appear in important documents dealing with a dealership, bank, finance company or credit union. Knowing the language of finance is critical. Below we have fleshed out terms to look for, when reading over financial documents.

 Financial Terms

These terms come from the Federal Trade Commission

Amount financed– the total amount of the loan omitting the lender fees (this is used to calculate the Annual Percentage Rate or APR)

APR(Annual Percentage Rate)– the cost of credit expressed as a yearly rate. You may be able to negotiate this figure. Factors that influence your APR: Your credit history, current finance rates, dealers compensation, competition, market conditions, and special offers are among the factors that affect your APR. Try to negotiate the lowest APR just as you negotiate the price of your vehicle.

Credit Score-A number that reflects the credit risk you present based on information in your credit file. The better your history of credit, the higher your score may be used to help decide the rate and other terms you are offered.

Down Payment-The initial amount you pay to reduce the amount you finance

Finance Charge– The cost of credit expressed as a dollar amount. You may be able to negotiate this figure.

Fixed Rate Financing-financing where the finance rate stays the same over the life of the contract

Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)- Optional protection that pays the difference between the amount you owe on your vehicle and the amount you would get from your insurance company if the vehicle is stolen or destroyed before you have paid off your credit obligation

Repossession-if you do not make timely payments on a vehicle, your creditor may have the right to repossess it without going to court or warning you

Total of Payments-as disclosed on a loan or finance contract, the total amount you will have paid after you have made all the payments as scheduled. For a lease, this is the amount you will have paid by the end of the lease.

Verbal Rate Financing-Financing where the finance rate varies and the amount you must pay changes over the life of the contract. This is not typical in vehicle finance transactions

Wholesale Rate (Buy Rate) -The finance rate at which an assignee buys a retail installment sale contract from the dealer.

These are just a few terms. More terms that can be found on the Federal Trade Commission 

Remember to read over everything before you sign anything! Just knowing the terms will help understand what you are officially signing. If you are still not sure about any financial term or if you are confused about the whole process, contact us at Louisiana Approval. We would love to help you, you can reach us here.

What to Do Before Going to the Dealership

What do I do before going to the dealership? These tips will help you feel more confident on the dealership lot.

Make sure you know how much you can afford

By knowing what you can afford this will help you budget for the car that is best for you.

Know your credit score

This will affect your ability for a lower or higher financial rate. If you have a low or bad credit we can help you at Louisiana Approval! Our professional and highly qualified agents are here to help, just reach out to us.

Buying vs leasing

Mainly buying is paying the full payment of the car plus taxes, registration, and other fees that apply. When you buy a car, you are the owner. This is a more expensive option but you are the sole owner of the car. You are able to sell it, fit it to customize your needs, etc.

Leasing means having monthly payments with restrictions such as mileage. The costs are lower because you will be only paying the first monthly payment, the vehicle’s depreciation, rent charges, and other fees. When you lease a car you are not the owner. You can use the car as long as the lease but then you will have to return the car, unless you decide to purchase the vehicle.

Know APR (annual percentage rates) and financing terms

The annual percentage rate or APR is the rate in which you pay annually or how much you will pay annually in interest on the loan. If you have a lower APR then you have lower monthly payments. Just remember APR is not an interest rate.

Research the car you are interested in that is within the budget.

Know the car you want to purchase. If you are needing a mini-van for your family, or a small SUV for those road trips. Make a list of your needs and find a car that will be perfect for you.

Still have questions? Louisiana Approval is here to help. We are here for you, let us help you achieve your auto financing needs, just contact us today.

The Game Plan to Get Out of Debt

Don’t know what to do, and feel like the debt just keeps piling up? Here are a few tips that will help you.

Assess the situation (get all of your debt in order)

In this section, you will need to face your debt. Do not just let it keep piling up or wait for the phone calls from the bank. Get ahead and calculate out how much debt you have.

Calculate your debt ratio.

After you have added up all your debt, next you will divide your debt by your income. Basically, how much debt compared to how much is coming in. This will show you how to allocate your money, or budget your money.

Don’t forget to break those habits that got you into debt.

Once you have set the budge stick to it! Having a budget will help you break those habits. Make sure to write down your budget. If you write it down you will be more likely to stick to the budget. Remember, do not use your credit cards, try a cash only basis. Having cash shows you how much money you have to spend, and how quickly the money can go.

Finally set a goal or goals for yourself. Make sure you keep with it. Have weekly, monthly and yearly goals.

Setting goals for yourself will motivate you to reach those goals. When you have weekly and monthly goals, you will achieve little victories. Those little victories will help you achieve your yearly goals. Again, write down your goals. You will be more likely to power through your goals if you write them down.


What’s your game plan? Come on you can do it! Just face the debt head on and you will have victory over that debt! Just remember you can do this and you will get out of debt. You just have to work at it!

You do not have to go through this alone. We, at Louisiana Approval, want to help you with your financial needs. We want you to see you become successful! Reach out to us, and we will help you.

What is Debt Consolidation?

What is Debt Consolidation?

Debt consolidation is when multiple debts with different interest rates are combined into one monthly payment with a lower interest rate. If you find yourself having multiple debts, and it seems to be an unmanageable situation, debt consolidation may be something for you to consider.

Advantages of Debt Consolidation

The obvious advantage of debt consolidation is that it helps you get on top of your debt and it helps you avoid damaging your credit and missing payments.

Debt consolidation does this by giving you one payment and that your interest rate will be lower. Instead of having to juggle multiple payments, you will only have to worry about one debt payment a month. Also, the lower interest rate can help you pay off your debt quicker because more money is going to the debt itself and not just the interest rate.

Other things to Consider with Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation can be a great way to help you pay off your debts, but it doesn’t really solve the problem of how you got into debt in the first place.  You may be able to work your way out of debt with debt consolidation and that is great, but you will want to make sure you really get a handle on your spending. This way you won’t be in the same situation again.

Debt is serious and if you are in a financial situation you are not happy with, take action now to make it better! Reach out to us if there is anything we can do to help you with auto financing.

What are Installment Loans?

Some people don’t realize it, but often home and auto loans are installment loans. An installment loan is simply a loan where you pay scheduled payments over a specific period of time. These payments are a fixed rate, so you are making payments of the same amount every time.

Benefits of Installment Loans

One good thing about installment loans is they can help you improve your credit score if you make timely payments. Installment loans can help you build up a record of making payments, which is a big part of improving your credit score. However, lenders take into account your credit score before they give you an installment loan, so you will want the best credit score possible to get the best interest rate for your installment loan.

Another benefit of an installment loan is that you should be able to get payments you can afford and a loan term you can afford. If you use payday loans, that means you will most likely have to pay a larger sum of money over a short period of time. With installment loans, you can set up a loan term that helps you to get payments that fit within your budget.

Fixed payments are another advantage of installment loans. You will know exactly the amount you owe every month, so there should be no surprises. Installment loans are pretty common auto and home loans, so odds are you will take out some sort of installment loans someday. Being informed about loan types will help you on the path to financial success!

If you are looking to get auto loan approval that fits within your budget and your needs, contact us and we can help.

What is Credit Counseling?

cosigner auto loanIf you have debt that you would like to get rid of, credit counseling may be a good option for you. Credit counseling is a service to help people reduce or manage the debt they have. This form of counseling can also help you learn more about finances and how to handle them.

When should you use credit counseling?

If you feel surrounded by unmanageable debt, or if you feel like your finances are out of control, credit counseling may be something to consider. Just because you may not have the perfect financial situation now, doesn’t mean you can’t turn it around and make it better.

What does credit counseling look like?

Credit counseling usually starts with a session where a credit counselor goes through your finances with you. You will get a big picture look at the different expenses and the debt you have as well as your current income. In this session, your credit counselor will also go over your options for repaying your debt. One of these options is a debt management plan that could help you pay down your debt if you feel like you can’t handle doing it on your own.

If you are trying to take charge of your finances or get yourself out of debt, you may want to look into credit counseling. A credit counselor can help you get on top of your finances and help you to improve your credit score. Also, remember if you are having auto financing problems during this time, we would be happy to help you out. Contact us and let us help you find the auto financing to fit your needs.

Conditional Approval for Auto Loans

If you are looking to get in that dream car right away, you may be looking into getting your loan conditionally approved. A conditionally approved loan can be a good way get an answer to your loan application.

A lender can give you conditional approval on your auto loan, which means you are approved if you meet certain conditions. The conditions usually include providing more documentation of income or other financial information.

Conditional Approval vs. Pre-Approval

People can get confused between conditional approval and pre-approval. They may sound similar, and they are, but they are not the same thing. Pre-approval is made by a loan officer and it is actually the step before conditional approval.

With conditional approval, you have gone through more of the process of securing the loan. Conditional approval involves a review by an underwriter, while a pre-approval is reviewed by a loan officer. The underwriter has more authority as they are the person who approves or denies the loan.

If you are looking to turn around your auto loan more quickly, a conditional approval may be the way to go. The conditional approval shows that you have moved further in the process toward getting approved for the loan.

Have more questions about auto loans? Reach out to us and we can help you out!

Considerations When Using a Cosigner for Your Auto Loan

A cosigner can be a great way to help you finance your car if you don’t have the perfect credit. An auto loan cosigner is simply a person who is willing to sign on for your loan saying if you don’t make your payments, they will pay for you.

The reasons you need a cosigner could vary, but some of them could include:

-You don’t meet the minimum income requirement for a loancosigner auto loan

-Your debt-to-income ratio is too high

-You don’t have credit or your credit score is poor

-Your income varies

If one or more of those factors applies to you, you may need to find a cosigner. Remember, a cosigner is responsible for paying the car loan if you cannot, so not just anyone will be willing to be a cosigner for you. Oftentimes a parent or close family member will be who you would consider to cosign for you.

There are some cosigner requirements to keep in mind when you are finding someone to help you out. First, the point of a cosigner is insurance that the payments will get paid, so your cosigner will need to have a great credit score. Your cosigner will also have to prove that they would be able to make your payments if the situation arises. That means they would have to provide proof of income and/or tax returns of some sort.

A cosigner may be something you need to get the auto loan you’re looking for. At the very least, it could be something you look into. If you have any questions about auto loans or financing, let us know!

Looking into Leasing a Car: 5 Things to Know

Leasing a car has been a more popular way to go recently. Leasing allows you to have a nice car without the hassle of buying a car. With a lease, you don’t have to worry as much about repairs because most things will be covered with a warranty. Your payments will certainly be lower than buying the same car, and at the end of your term, you can simply walk away from the car and lease or buy a different one.

However, before you decide on a lease, there are some things you want to know:
-With a lease, there will be a mileage cap per year or for the length of the lease. Know what this is because if you go over the miles, you will be charged what can amount to a lot in fees.

-You may or may not have a down payment. That is something to look into and be aware of.

-Maintenance costs and warranty is another thing to know about. Your lease vehicle will probably be under warranty, but it is important for you know what is covered by that and what is not. As for routine maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations that is something you will have to pay for.

-You may want to purchase gap insurance to cover the difference between what you owe on the car and what you’ve paid. Gap insurance will be beneficial because it will protect you if something happens to your car and you owed more than it was worth.

-Leasing affects your credit score. This is important to know because your payment history will contribute to improving or hurting your credit score. In fact, leasing may be a good option to improve your credit. If you don’t think your credit score is high enough to buy, you could lease.

The most important thing to do before you lease a car is to read the fine print. Know what you are getting yourself into before you take the next step.

Ultimately, you may decide leasing is for you. Or you might want to get an auto loan and finance your car. If you are struggling to make the decision, you can always consult us. Let us know what we can do to help you out!